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Social Psychology - Essay Example

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Social psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on examining people’s behavior in different social setups. It focuses on studying people’s thoughts, feelings and reasons why they do the things they do in certain situations, which they find themselves in…
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Social Psychology
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"Social Psychology"

Download file to see previous pages The aim of social psychologists is to deal with issues that make people behave the way they behave while interacting with other people and the study of the situations under which behaviors or feelings take place. Therefore, social psychology deals with how these feelings, opinions, ideas, purpose and goals are built and the ways by which such psychological factors influence people’s way of interacting with others. However, social psychology is similar with sociology in many ways, though sociology studies human behavior more broad sense than social psychology. This is because sociologists focus on societal driving forces of life that influence how people behave while social psychologists focus on individual behavior in the presence of other people. It is important to study social psychology as it sheds light on how people act while in certain circumstances and enables us to understand how stereotypes are created, why there is the existence of sexism and racism and how people have varied views of the situations they face. When studying social psychology, one will understand some essential features of social behavior that contribute largely on how people act and see themselves. In addition, through the study one will appreciate that the ways people interact with others fulfill needs, for example, the need to understand themselves and other people fully, the desire to achieve or sustain status or protection and the desire to attract others. Secondly, one will understand how an individual behaves in relation to the conditions surrounding him or her, since environment and condition strongly influences how individuals behave. Thirdly, through studying social psychology one will learn that individuals take time to find out their social conditions. This is because social relationship leads to the creation of self–concept and opinions, and one way of creating this is through imagination whereby people imagine how others are seeing them (Sommerville and Jean, 2006). Finally, through social psychology individuals are able to examine and explain behaviors of those around them. People expect others to behave the way they expect through the existing facts and beliefs that leads to stereotyping, as many people in society often think that other people’s behavior determines their personality. Social Psychology Theories: Self-perception theory; in life, there are many important ways in which individuals see themselves. Self-perception theory stresses that individuals see themselves the same way they see or perceive other people, and through this, they are able to make conclusions about what they like and what they do not like. This theory is important since a person being aware of his/her individual behavior will encourage them to notice their shortcomings and discrepancies. However, people do not look at themselves, but spend more time looking at how others see them and can only strengthen their self-esteem through self-development practices (Brown, 2006). Self-verification theory; it emphasizes on an individual’s wish to be recognized and understood by other people in society. This means that once an individual develops strong belief about him/her self, they also believe that others see them the same way they see themselves. Social knowledge theory; this theory was created and introduced by Bandura in the year 1963. It emphasizes that social others who may see it as being of benefit to them can copy behavior. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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